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Folkin’ Around: Antje Duvekot

If you liked our folk artist pick Meg Hutchinson a few weeks ago, you’ll be excited to hear that our choice this week is Antje Duvekot. These two artists have unique careers and sounds, and they share a few things in common. Both are a strong songwriting presence in the greater Boston area (winning several individual songwriting contests/mentions). They are also prominent members of the Boston-based, songwriting all-star cast that makes up Winterbloom.

Duvekot’s music merges the folk and country aesthetic with indie and singer/songwriter vocals and lyrics. In fact, all the angst, poetry and longing in Duvekot’s lyrics easily accent the lofty melodies with which she sings them. “When are you going to come for me, Lord?” is the opening line of the chorus in her song “Pearls”. Juxtaposed with the somewhat dark lyrics that riddle the verses, this line is sung with an appropriately memorable tune. The request sung so many times in the song, seems to be answered by the end with catchy, satisfying progressions and smooth, natural accompaniment. Check it out:

With several songwriting and folk awards (including regional artist awards and the grand prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest) under her belt, Duvekot obviously has a talent for writing and the performance chops to go with it. And thanks to frequent performances on the festival circuit, domestically at the Mountain Stage festival and abroad at The Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland and the Tonder Festival in Denmark,  she’s shared the stage with acts like Patti Griffin, Lyle Lovett and the Indigo girls. Her song “Merry Go Round” was even featured on a 2008 Bank of America commercial which aired during the Super Bowl. Take a listen and get your dose of tasteful arrangements and thoughtful lyrics.

Folkin’ Around: That’s All Folks

It’s time for me to hand over the reins of this here Folkin’ Around blog.  But that doesn’t mean the folk slows down!  Good ole’ Jay Schneider will be taking the drivers seat from here on out.   Before I go, I want to share with you guys some of my favorite OurStage artists that I’ve come across during the past six months.

Talking About Commas: Bear Connelly is no stranger to the folk scene, but the Rhode Island native has been experimenting with different kinds of sounds since college when he moved out west in hope of inspiration. Mastering guitar, piano, bass, drums, Rhodes, congas, melodica, synthesized strings and mandolin, Connelly plays under the moniker Talking About Commas.  His raw musical abilities have always supported telling stories that captivate listeners.

Crissi Cochrane: Artists often sing about relationships and can easily inspire their fans to want to fall in love. Singer/Songwriter Crissi Cochrane is one such artist.  Filled with sweet lyrics and a gentle voice, her songs transport listeners to a world where everything is good.  Her delightful melodies are sure to catch on within the next few months.

Alain de Courtenay: Alain de Courtenay is no newcomer in the world of folk, spending nearly a decade perfecting his craft.  Both inspiring and distinct, Alain’s music is evocative poetry at it’s finest.  A few years back, he joined forces with violinist TJ Callanta and has been producing deep, poignant compositions ever since.  In the vein of Alexi Murdoch and Nick Drake, Alain draws from experience to create organic music that pulls at the emotions.  It goes without saying, the young star shows great promise in his future.

The Weathered Road: As a well-needed breath of fresh air in today’s music industry, The Weathered Road aren’t out to make it to the top. They’re out to inspire and enjoy the moment while making music —and that alone might just make them the next big thing in folk.  With intricate Celtic musicianship and captivating vocals, the group transports listeners to a fresh, empty field immersed in sunshine.  Perfect harmonies paired with organic strings make The Weather Road a trio worth a listen.

Carl Hauck: Carl Hauck is a lovechild of sorts.  Born of Andrew Bird, raised by Damien Rice, tended by nanny Nick Drake and befriended by Modest Mouse in high school,  Hauck seems to take everything good from other prominent acoustic folk acts and combines it into one sugary treat.   His voice, often compared to that of an angel, is honestly just thatangelic.  Like a sunburst from heaven, Hauck’s songs stream like rays upon playlists, juxtaposing the sullen acoustic crooners.

Wes Kirkpatrick: Wes Kirkpatrick has always been a go-to artist for this OurStager on those seemingly endless days.  His previous albums, recorded with his brother, have been a staple on the Folk Channel for months now.  A softer Jack Johnson with a stronger voice, Wes Kirkpatrick seems to make anyone’s day a little better.

This Frontier Need Heroes: Comprised of siblings Brad and Jessica Lauretti, This Frontier Needs Heroes’ sweet indie folk sound fits right in here on OurStage.  So it’s no wonder they have received acclaim from publications such as NPR’s All Songs ConsideredTime Out New YorkTime Out London, Decider.com, and have done live sessions for Daytrotter.com and SPIN.  OurStage got their chance to catch up with the duo about their success as folk artists, their influences and their extensive touring.

So take a look back at those fantastic artists and get ready for the new era of Folkin’ Around with Jay.  He’ll be sure to show you guys some fresh talent and a new take on the genre.  So everyone give Jay a hearty “Howdy!”  Happy trails!

Folkin’ Around: Juliana Finch

Not many artists are down to share their creative processes with the world, but one folk artist is keeping her thoughts open to everyone.  Juliana Finch is one of the most forefront and honest musicians on the folk scene today. She stays connected with her fans and even offers advice, utilizing Twitter, a blog, personal Web site, Facebook account and OurStage account. Finch not only gets personal with fans—her music is personal as well.

A writer, a poet and a musician in one, Finch’s music speaks to the nervous, lovesick teen in everyone.  Her confidence in expressing her vulnerability is both astounding and relieving.  Speaking the things that one else dares to admit, Finch sings of stuttering, heartbreak, falling hard for someone and other typical obstacles of that awkward middle period between childhood and adulthood.  However typical these experiences may be, the fearlessness in Finch’s music is what makes them fresh and undeniable.  Her latest album, How To Take The Fall, transfers well from the chill evenings to sunny afternoons, making Juliana Finch’s music the perfect soundtrack for those early spring weekends.  Enjoy!

Folkin’ Around: April Showers

Here at OurStage, it seems as if the rain hasn’t stopped since the beginning of March.  Now that it’s April, we’ve given in to the showers for a while and accepted that our hair is meant to be frizzy until May flowers arrive.  There are tons of ways to embrace to the rain — playing in the puddles, listening to the pitter patter of rain drops hitting your roof, kissing under an umbrella or listening to reflective music.  Well, we’ve gone ahead and gotten you a rain appropriate playlist of folk songs to listen to as you stare out the window into the gray abyss. Just remember, May’s only 28 days away!

Folkin’ Around: Freak Folk

In the early 2000s, folk music started to make its way back into the indie scene, but it wasn’t quite folk.  The sound — drawing from ’60s and ’70s acts such as The Fugs and the Holy Modal Rounders — was more eclectic, pairing acoustic instrumentation with rock and psychedelic sensibilities.  Like other contemporary folk musicians, freak folk artists don’t necessarily stick to acoustic instruments.  Often they employ thick harmonies with percussion, exotic instruments or electronic keyboards. While classic folk is an influence,  avant garde is a more accurate way to brand the sound — a fusing of the different genres represented.  So the sounds of the past are melding together in the present.

Continue reading ‘Folkin’ Around: Freak Folk’

Folkin’ Around: The Callen Sisters

Folk music has always had a tendency to “keep it in the family” more so than other genres.  Siblings, cousins, neighbors, best friends and the like find it easier to collaborate with each other than with other artists because their relationships bring an honest and touching aspect to the act of making music.   These preexisting relationships enable some artists to produce some of the best music folk has ever seen.

A shining example of this can be seen in sisters Beth and Jessa Callen who go by the name The Callen Sisters.  The two have been singing together since they were toddlers.  Now 25 and 27, The Callen Sisters already have a successful debut album out and are recording their follow-up with an even edgier sound, modernizing the genre.

The sisters got the chance to catch up with OurStage about the family business, their new album and the use of the harp in their music.

Continue reading ‘Folkin’ Around: The Callen Sisters’

Folkin’ Around: Irish Folkin’

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, it’s time to break out the Irish drinkin’ songs.  Celtic songs are part of the basis of all folk songs whether you believe it or not.  Dating back to the early 1800s, the use of accordions, bagpipes and guitars popularized the genre to the point that many bands still feature it today.   So this St. Patty’s Day when you’re toasting the Irish with a pint of green beer, remember their wonderful contributions to music with this playlist!

Folkin’ Around: Alain de Courtenay

Alain de Courtenay is no newcomer in the world of folk, spending nearly a decade perfecting his craft.  Both inspiring and distinct, Alain’s music is evocative poetry at it’s finest.  A few years back, he joined forces with violinist, TJ Callanta and has been producing deep, poignant compositions ever since.  In the vein of Alexi Murdoch and Nick Drake, Alain draws from experience to create organic music that pulls at the emotions.  It goes without saying, the young star shows great promise in his future.

OurStage got the chance to catch up with Alain de Courtenay about working with TJ Callanta, opening for DeVotchKa and what’s to come.

Continue reading ‘Folkin’ Around: Alain de Courtenay’

Folkin’ Around: The Weathered Road

As a well-needed breath of fresh air in today’s music industry, The Weathered Road aren’t out to make it to the top. They’re out to inspire and enjoy the moment while making music — and that alone might just make them the next big thing in folk.  With intricate celtic musicianship and captivating vocals, the group transports listeners to a fresh, empty field immersed in sunshine.  Perfect harmonies paired with organic strings make The Weather Road a trio worth a listen.

The group is currently preparing to go on tour with their debut album, finishing up on St. Patrick’s day—a fitting celebration for their sound.  Be sure to check them out in a city near you.

Folkin’ Around: Through The Mid-Winter Slump

OSBlog02_FolkinAround_01When good ole’ Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, everyone dug their heels in for another six weeks of winter. Since the snow is no longer angelic and white, just grey and gross, six weeks seems like forever away. So to get you through this mid-winter slump, here’s a pick-me-up: A dose of sunny folk to melt away your winter blues. This playlist will certainly brighten your day.

Continue reading ‘Folkin’ Around: Through The Mid-Winter Slump’

 


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